The ACU Difference

ACU is committed to the pursuit of truth and academic freedom. The University seeks to develop its students as educated, skilled and ethical graduates, who are sensitive to injustice and work for the common good. In its endeavours the University is guided by a fundamental concern for justice and equity, and the dignity of all human beings. This development is achieved through explicitly teaching and assessing the University's graduate attributes in each course.

All ACU students complete core curriculum units which include community engagement. These units aim to develop students' knowledge and understanding of today's global community and to assist their own personal development.

The ACU curriculum uses an inquiry based learning model which promotes the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills in students.

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All ACU students are required to complete 80 hours of community engagement; working with marginalised or disadvantaged communities to develop mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships. Community engagement is a separate learning activity from professional practice placements. It is not just service to, or volunteering in the community, but is a two-way process with benefits passing to community organisations, students, and the community in general. Community engagement seeks to:

  • expose students to diverse social and ecological contexts that will challenge their values and beliefs in relation to the determinants of health, illness and disability;
  • encourage awareness of societal and other factors impacting individuals' roles and participation in society;
  • promote cultural awareness and culturally secure practices;
  • encourage development of reflective practice; and
  • provide an opportunity for students to contribute to the life of the community through the building of relationships and the sharing of personal expertise and time.

Having students on placement has benefits for you, the supervisor, and your employer or organisation, more broadly. Benefits may include:

  • increased productivity and client service provision;
  • assessment of students for future recruitment potential;
  • development of staff supervision, training, organisational and clinical reasoning skills;
  • promotion and increased exposure of your organisations services to the community;
  • promote diversity in the workplace;
  • enable organisational projects to be completed, for example the development of protocols and forms;
  • enable valuable resources to be developed, for example client manuals, brochures and education programs; and
  • enable the implementation/commencement/continuation of quality assurance or evidence based practice research activities.

Student placements are covered by ACU's General and Product Liability, Professional Indemnity and Personal Accident Insurance policies. The policies provide worldwide cover for placement programs approved by the University. Please be aware that students are not covered during placement for using their own cars for home visits or between work places.

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